My journey towards Maximo BIRT Reporting started in the banking industry with Actuate eRDPro development tool. The evolution of this tool to Eclipse BIRT took place over the past fifteen years. And maybe that is one of the reasons I am so biased towards BIRT and its integration into Maximo.
Base Maximo V7.6 contains ten business areas to manage all different aspects of your business. Assets, Inventory & Logistics, Contracts & Procurement, Financial & Analytics, Predictive Maintenance, Health, Safety & Environment, Work, Planning & Scheduling, Service & SLA, with more concentrations on industry. Each of these areas contain additional categories or applications to collect and store information, data. Mounds of data logically displayed in each business area with the use of tabbed pages. This is where Maximo Reporting becomes the most important manager of all these business areas. Did say I was biased?
How does Maximo Reporting earn the distinction of most important? Using the search tools and out-of-box (OOB) BIRT reports available in all applications to seek out data to analyze and organize to your logic makes Maximo Reporting most important. If you master the use of the reporting search tools in just one of the Maximo applications, you can master all applications.
I’ll use the Inventory application to touch on these reporting tools and explain their basic worth. Just an overview because I can go down the rabbit hole with all these tools. Entering the Inventory Application, the first tools to explore are All Records, which returns a view of all available records without any filters. And All Bookmarks returns a view of any past records your username may have saved in the past for work in the future. Before we move to the next set of tools, a note to what is happening in the background of the Inventory application when tools are used. Each application has a Report Object Structure (ROS) associated with it. These are pre-joined database tables to support reporting tools. For example, Inventory ROS includes data fields for InvCost (inventory costs) and InvBalances (inventory balances).
Advance Search menu is the next of the reporting tools to help concentrate your data.
More Search Fields will display data attributes(fields) in the ROS and build, in the background, a Where Clause to filter the inventory records. I added a Y to the Boolean field Rotating to filter for inventory items that are Rotating. A default SELECT statement is built using the default fields seen in the List tab for the Inventory Application. This is the Where Clause built in the background. Both the SELECT and WHERE are used in a SQL statement to query the ROS of Maximo database.
Current Query refers to what filters are applied to records now. In this case it is blank because I started with All Records in the Available Queries menu.
The SELECT part of the SQL defaults to the fields visible entering the Inventory application. These fields are customizable and are tied to the ROS. Also available is another tool for data. The Download icon located left on the tool bar.
Download will auto-export data to an Excel spreadsheet.
The last two I’ll touch on are the principal tools for Maximo Reporting. Both are tied or can be tied to the filtered records from Advance Search. First, the Create Report action under the Menu Common Actions. Ad Hoc Report or throw-back QBR, Query Based Report, gives you the power to expand on the filtered data.
Ad Hoc will allow you to create a simple List report or a more Detail report pulling additional fields from the ROS and adding custom calculated fields. The Save application query to report? Checkbox means the pre-filtered data done with Advanced Search is passed to Ad Hoc as a starting point. If the check is removed, then there are additional protections in place for the database. A data record limit that defaults to 5000 records. This protects performance of Maximo and protects the user from runaway queries.
The last reporting tool to touch on is my most favorite. All the out-of-box (OOB) BIRT reports available to evaluate and logically present your Maximo data. There are over 150 reports of varying complexity across all applications in V7.6.x Maximo. This number varies based on Maximo Industry Solutions installed, custom reports and saved and made public Ad Hoc reports. In our example when Run Reports is selected under menu More Actions our demo Maximo V7.6 environment Inventory has 15 reports available.
At the top of the list is a Custom Inventory Bar Code Label (1x4) created for a proof of concept in Cohesive Demo environment. These OOB reports can also be based on Advanced Search with parameters passed to the report through the Where Clause or designed with parameters to execute in conjunction with the Where Clause. The OOB reports for each application will include Analysis, Drill Down, Hierarchical, and Graphical reports. The list reports seen in past versions of Maximo have been retired and replaced with the Ad Hoc (Create Report) Action. Create Report button seen next to the Cancel button on Run Reports menu activates the Ad Hoc report Action.
All the OOB reports can be customized with additional fields for analysis, calculations, or charts. These report designs can also be used as a base for new reports to your own specifications and business rules. This customization or new report design requires a little more expertise in the use of the BIRT Developer tool. Fortunately, Cohesive Solutions has the Subject Matter Experts to customize, upgrade, or design your reports.
NOTE: Examples of delivered BIRT reports within Maximo V7.6 can be found in a Booklet provided by IBM. This booklet contains information on each report’s file names, parameter, application toolbar settings, grouping, sorting, and descriptions along with a PDF of a report executed against a Maximo Demo database.
What is the difference between a reporting tool and a performance management dashboard? Which is best for you? Read more here.